Lessons Learned from Trying to be a Food Network Star (Part 3)

It’s been almost 10 years since I appeared on The Food Network, and it’s not looking like I’ll ever become a Food Network Star.

  • By Jess Dang
  • July 22, 2014

And I’m perfectly okay with that.

In fact, I’m more than happy about it.

In the time since my comical fail on the show, I’ve spent a lot of energy trying to figure out where I fit into the food world and if I belong there at all.

I started a food blog called the petite pig. It helped me develop some website skills, but it didn’t take me long to realize that blogging about food was just not my thing.

I hosted a supper club out of my San Francisco apartment twice a week attended by friends and sometimes even strangers. I learned a lot about recipe development during this time but quickly grew tired of doing the dishes (I hate doing dishes).

I opened a boutique catering company and brought restaurant-style dining experiences into people’s homes. It gave me a deep respect for people who run food businesses but I wanted to do more than throw events for the fairly affluent.

Then I took a three-year hiatus where I did nothing food related. I focused on my corporate career, hoped to turn 30, and just waited for the right idea to come.

I realized that what had been missing in all my previous ventures was the opportunity to teach.

Yes, I wanted to do all that fun creative food stuff but mostly I just loved helping people find their way in the kitchen.

And that’s how Cook Smarts came to be. While I’m far from figuring out this whole business thing – the content we’ve created, the team I get to work with, the community I get to be a part of – is what I’ve been searching for.

Thanks for helping me find my way in the kitchen. Hopefully we’ve made a contribution to your food journey too!

With gratitude and appreciation,

PS – As I’m writing this, I funnily got an email from ABC’s The Taste to see if I would be interested in going on the show. As much as I’d love to get criticized by Anthony Bourdain, I’ll stick to hanging out with you. Plus, my reality TV days are long over, unless I manage to become an Amercian ninja like this beast of a lady: (I put the likelihood at zero . . . )


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